Indiana DUI Laws & Penalties

Indiana DUI laws are classified as OWI or operating a vehicle while intoxicated under Indiana law section § 9-30-5 Operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

There are two ways that a person may be found to be in violation of Indiana's DUI law: the first is for being in violation of Indiana's 'per se' law, which states that it is against the law for any person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater.

A person can also be charged with DUI/OWI in Indiana even if their BAC level is below the legal limit.  If by the arresting officer's observation of the driver's behavior before the stop or by showing signs of impairment while stopped by failing any portion of the field sobriety test (if taken). slurred speech or other various signs of impairment that would lead the officer to establishing probable cause and therefore arresting the driver.



Upon being arrested for DUI/OWI in Indiana the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and suspend or revoke it depending on whether this was a first offense violation or a second or subsequent violation and forward it along with his or her report and any evidence against you to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  You only have ten days from the date of the arrest in which to request an administrative hearing to contest your suspension or revocation.  If you fail to request a hearing within ten days of your arrest, you will not be granted one and the suspension or revocation period will stand.

Indiana Administrative Hearing Process

The administrative hearing will be conducted by a representative of the Indiana BMV who is qualified to conduct such hearings.  The purpose of the hearing will be for the representative to review the evidence against you and determine the following items:

  • Whether or not the arresting officer had probable cause to suspend your license.
  • Whether or not the arresting officer followed the proper procedures during the stop.
  • Whether or not the driver submitted to a chemical test.
  • Whether or not the driver's blood alcohol level was .08% or greater.

After reviewing the evidence provided by the arresting officer, the hearing representative will hear testimony from the arresting officer as to the details of the stop and arrest. Then the hearing representative will review the evidence in your defense provided by your Indiana DUI lawyer and yourself, then will hear testimony from you and/or your lawyer and also any witnesses that have been subpoenaed.

After reviewing all of the evidence and hearing all the testimony's the hearing representative will either uphold the officer's suspension of your driver's license or will rule that the evidence against you does not justify the suspension and will reinstate your driver's license.

If you hope to have a successful outcome in your BMV hearing case and retain your driving privileges you will need to hire an Indiana DUI lawyer who has experience when it comes to representing clients at BMV hearings.

Indiana Hardship Driver's License

First time DUI/OWI offenders who submitted to a chemical test and failed the test will be eligible for an Indiana hardship license after the first thirty days of the suspension period. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days or up to 2-years.

The issuance of a hardship license following a first offense will allow you restricted driving privileges for 6-months of the suspension period.  The hardship license will allow you to drive to and from work or school, to and from a court ordered treatment program and for necessary medical emergencies.

If you refused to submit to a chemical test, you are not eligible for a hardship license and you will have to wait until the end of your suspension period before your license can be reinstated.

If you are granted a hardship license you will be required to file proof of financial responsibility in the form of an Indiana SR22 insurance policy with the Indiana BMV and pay a $130 license reinstatement fee before you will be issued a hardship license.

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Indiana First Offense DUI/OWI

A first offense conviction is a misdemeanor charge and means that you have not been convicted of a previous DUI/OWI charge within the past 5-years.  The penalties for a first offense DUI/OWI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: There is no mandatory jail sentence for a first offense. Depending on the circumstances like a high BAC or having a minor in the vehicle can result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year.
  • Fines: Will range between $500 and $5,000 depending on your BAC level, accident involving injury to another person, and minor in the vehicle.
  • Community service: You may be granted community service in lieu of any jail time.
  • Alcohol education: You will be required to complete a state approved alcohol or drug assessment and the court may require you to attend a state approved alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.
  • Test refusal: First offense refusal will result in a 1 year license suspension with no driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock: You may be granted restricted driving privileges with use of an ignition interlock device during the suspension period if you submitted to a chemical test.
  • License suspension: Your license will be suspended up to 2-years.  You will be eligible for a hardship license after the first thirty days of the suspension period as long as you submitted to a chemical test. Before the Indiana DMV will reinstate your license or issue you a hardship license, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the BMV showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Indiana SR22 insurance filing policy and pay a $130 license reinstatement fee.

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Indiana Second Offense DUI/OWI

A second offense conviction is a Class D felony if it occurs within 5-years of a previous conviction.  The penalties for a second offense DUI/OWI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: From 10 days up to 3 years depending on the circumstances of your case.
  • Fines: You will have to pay up to $10,000 in fines for a second offense conviction.
  • Community service: As an alternative to jail time the court may order you to perform up to 350 hours community service, or a combination thereof.
  • Alcohol education: You will be required to complete a state approved alcohol or drug assessment and the court may require you to attend a state approved alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.
  • Test refusal: Second offense refusal will result in a 2 year license suspension with no driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock: You may be granted restricted driving privileges with use of an ignition interlock during the suspension period if you submitted to a chemical test.
  • License suspension: Your driver's license will be suspended for between 180 days and 2 years. At the end of the suspension period you will be allowed probationary driving period with an interlock device equal to the suspension period. Before the Indiana DMV will reinstate your license or issue you a hardship license, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the BMV showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Indiana SR-22 policy, have an ignition interlock device installed and pay a $225 license reinstatement fee before you will be issued a hardship license.

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Indiana Third Offense DUI/OWI

A third offense conviction is a Class D felony if it occurs within 10-years of two previous convictions.  You will also be labeled as a habitual offender.  The penalties for a third offense DUI/OWI conviction within 10-years are as follows:

  • Jail time: The minimum jail sentence for a third offense within 10-years is 10 days in jail or up to 3-years in jail.  The court may order 360 hours of community service in lieu of some of the jail time.
  • Fines: You will have to pay up to $10,000 in fines for a third offense conviction within 10-years.
  • Community service: The court may order you to perform 360 hours of community service for a reduction in the imposed jail sentence.
  • Alcohol education: You will be required to complete a state approved alcohol or drug assessment and the court may require you to attend a state approved alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.
  • Probation: The court may also order you to serve a probationary term following your jail sentence.
  • Test refusal: Third offense refusal will result in a 2 year license suspension with no driving privileges.
  • Ignition interlock: You may be granted restricted driving privileges with use of an ignition interlock during the suspension period if you submitted to a chemical test.
  • License suspension: Your driver's license will be suspended for between 1 year and 10 years. At the end of the suspension period you will be allowed probationary driving period with an interlock device equal to the suspension period. Before the Indiana DMV will reinstate your license or issue you a hardship license, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the BMV showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a SR22 insurance policy, have an ignition interlock device installed and pay a $300 license reinstatement fee before you will be issued a hardship license.

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Indiana CMV DUI

If you were driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .04% or greater, were transporting non-hazardous materials and this was a first offense, your CDL will be revoked for 1-year.  If you were transporting hazardous materials with a blood alcohol level of .04% or greater, your CDL will be revoked for a minimum of 3-years.

If you receive a second DUI/OWI offense at anytime your CDL will be revoked for life.  If you submitted to a chemical test and there was any measurable amount of alcohol in your system, you will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

Indiana DUI/OWI Under 21 Years of Age

If you are under the age of 21 and stopped for any reason and found to have a blood alcohol concentration level of .02% or greater, your driver's license will be suspended for 1-year.  Before the BMV will reinstate your driver's license you will have to pay a $130 license reinstatement fee along with filing proof of financial responsibility in the form of Indiana SR22.



Indiana SR22 Requirements

Before the Indiana BMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period or before issuing you a hardship license, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license or hardship license. You will be required to carry yourSR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Indiana SR22 filing coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Indiana BMV of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Indiana BMV will immediately suspend your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the BMV before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Indiana and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in Indiana for any less. Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Indiana DUI Resources

  • Indiana First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Indiana SR22 Insurance Filings - We have compiled everything you need to know about Indiana's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Indiana DUI Programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI substance abuse programs listed by County.

  • Indiana Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Indiana bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.